Review and photography by Mark Loraine.

Inner City music events seem to be de-rigeur for a lot of Britain’s cities and the ‘Toon is not one to be left out of a trend! This particular event was interestingly called “Live from Times Square” and although it was not the New York square made famous by New Year, it was certainly busy busy and eager with anticipation for the bands of the evening…. The Old Pink House, Dream Wife, Public Service Broadcasting, The Cribs and headliners the Manic Street Preachers – that and it was sold out and it was Saturday night in Newcastle which, if you don’t know, is always a damn good party.

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First up on stage was a band I had never heard of…The Old Pink House. Great name, and actually a really good band. They list themselves as cosmic pop and I reckon I can agree with this genre assumption. Great start to the day – they are playing at the Think Tank in Newcastle soon (27th October). Worth a trip.

Secondly was a band that had been highly recommended by a Belgian friend of mine. The fact that the band, Dream Wife, were Icelandic provided further intrigue, but hey, he was dead right. What a great band. Echoes (of course) of Bjork, but more of early female punk and the sound they delivered was nothing short of immaculate. The singer had a voice that was at times ethereal, but more often than not as rawk as it comes. I for one fully intend seeing them again – I would recommend you try to catch them too!

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Onto the next band on the line-up….Public Service Broadcasting. What can we say about these folk ? Genius springs to mind, incredibly talented we can add to that and, as followers of Gig Junkies will know mine and Simon Saynor’s near favourite band. Simon describes PSB much better than I ever can, but needless to say this collection of musicians really delivered tonight mixing older tracks with some of my favourites from the newest album ‘Every Valley’ their melding of electronica, guitar, drums and a full brass section is something to behold. Thanks again PSB for doing what you do so very, very well.

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The next on the bill was a band I had heard good and bad things about. The Cribs come from the burgeoning guitar based indie sector and they do what they do very well. Although entertaining, I personally found them to be a little on the samey (if that’s a word) side as many other bands in their genre. No doubt they were entertaining, and they certainly put the bloody effort in, just not for me…not tonight.

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At this point it had been raining heavily since before PSB came on stage (maybe why I didn’t enjoy The Cribs as much as I should have) and much of the crowd were huddled in the lee of the fences or were so full of booze they really didn’t care. That was a great time for the Manic Street Preachers to come on stage…time, as James Dean Bradfield said, to Rock n Roll !

Starting with my most favourite of all MSP songs: ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, they proceeded to then fill the next couple of hours with hits and favourites from what is undoubtedly an eminent back catalogue of music.

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From ‘Kevin Carter ‘and ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ to ‘You Love Us’, they really covered all bases and as expected the Geordie crowd went wild. Even the persistent rain couldn’t dampen the spirits and overall a fantastic set was delivered to a very expectant crowd.

Its been many years since I first saw The Manic Street Preachers, they were a four piece then that’s how long ago it was, but today they showed that they can still hold the crowd and can still get 5,000 people singing along to every single word of every single song. Fair Play Manic Street Preachers, Fair Play.

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Manic Street Preachers Setlist:
Motorcycle Emptiness
Everything Must Go
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
Walk Me to the Bridge
Indian Summer
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
This Is the Day (The The cover)
My Little Empire
Kevin Carter
Send Away the Tigers
No Surface All Feeling
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
The Masses Against the Classes (Acoustic)
Ocean Spray (Acoustic)
You Love Us
(It’s Not War) Just the End of Love
Tsunami
Show Me the Wonder
A Design for Life

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